Tuesday, April 6, 2021

My Way Mila

I'm not going to do extensive blog posts about the My Way Kids that I work on (it's a My Twinn blog after all) but I think it might be fun to share a little something about each girl's makeover.  So, I'll post blog snippets about these dolls; I'll highlight anything noteworthy about their makeover, and also post the pictures I take for their sales page on Etsy.

You can read all about the My Way Kid brand in my last entry.  These funny little dolls have captured my heart and I am having a really great time working on them!

I give all of the My Way Kids a four-letter name.  This makes the naming process easier, and I also think the pixie-like faces of these dolls fit well with short, simple names.  I named this little one Mila (I pronounce this Mee-lah, but you can pronounce it however you like).  Here's how Mila looked when I got her:

My Way Kid doll with the Cutie face.
I'll say right off the bat that this cover picture of Mila shows her true skin coloring pretty well.  These girls tend to look much fairer after my makeovers.  I'm not doing any fancy color editing in the photos or anything like that, it's just what happens.

Mila's body had quite a bit of light brown staining on the cloth torso when she arrived at my house.  It looks like mildew:

Like Brie, Mila also had some loose stitching around her vinyl limbs.  Something like this:

This is Brie's leg, but Mila's legs looked similar...I just forgot to take a pic.
Because of the stains and the loose stitching, I decided to see what it would be like to disassemble the My Way Kid body.  This would give me much better access for cleaning and repairs.

The body has a cable tie opening at the side of the neck and not the back, so in order to access the back seam of the torso, I had to cut through the back part of the neck.  Or at least I thought I had to.

In retrospect, I probably should have just taken the neck portion of the fabric apart at its seams and not cut anything.  Live and learn.

The cloth body was very firmly-packed with white stuffing.  It looks like well-defined muscles in this picture:

Mila the bodybuilder!
I pulled out all of the stuffing and cleaned the fabric torso.  I also used some vinyl glue to secure the inside of each vinyl-to-fabric seam:

Last, I added some hot glue to the well in the legs where the armature attaches to the vinyl.  I did this because one leg felt a little loose to me.  In reality, there was no damage to this area (just a slightly loose fit) so I probably could have just left it alone.

It was quite difficult to re-stuff Mila's body.  I did my best, but still wasn't able to replace all of her original stuffing.  I have no idea how they got it all packed in there in the first place!  Her body is slightly less firm than a regular My Way Kid, but it still feels good.

It was also painstaking to hand-sew all of the tiny machine-made stitches that ran along Mila's back.  This was much more challenging than the ladder stitches in a My Twinn torso.

But I managed to get Mila put pack together again.  Here she is:

She is sporting new green glass eyes, a beautiful chocolate wig form Doll of a Kind, and a freckle-filled face-up:

Her back seam looks pretty good...

...except at the very top where I had to use a lot of messy stitching to secure the area that I had cut:

Not my finest work.
I made a small repair to the stitching in her lower back, too:

The front side of her torso looks mostly normal, with some small reinforced areas at the bottoms of her waist seams:

I also had to stitch the opening where the cable tie is inserted, because this was coming unraveled:

Finally I found a good color of thread, though!
So, Mila has two areas of stitching around her neck--one at the side, and one in the back:

Her arm and leg seams look really nice, now, though!

Interior repair of these areas is definitely the best option, I just wish it wasn't such a huge pain to access the seams:

I made a green peasant dress for Mila.  This one is better-made than Brie's dress, overall, but I still have a few things to learn.  Like how to sew an even hem.  I've tried pinning it on the doll, pinning it on the floor, ironing it first...I'm still not great at it.

The flower trim is tacked on with a small amount of glue, and then each flower is hand-stitched into place.

I like how the color of this dress brings out Mila's new eyes!

Here she is from the back:

The wig is so silky and wonderful.  Doll of a Kind wigs are amazing.  I wish I could still buy them for My Twinn dolls!

Mila is wearing little purple sandals that are just a bit too small for her (you can see her big toes protruding at the front).  I glued flowers onto the shoes so that they would match the dress:

The shoes also have foam wedges glued into the heel so that Mila can stand on her own a little better.

I followed the contours of Mila's face pretty closely with my face paint, so her eyebrows are very angled:

Mila is pretty good at balancing on her own, so I let her dance around a little bit...

She is a happy, inquisitive little thing.

This thick wig looks nice when it is pulled away from Mila's face:

She's definitely ready for spring!

For Mila's portrait, I let her hair back down:

Here's a comparison GIF:

Here's a picture with Mila and Brie.  They've been sticking together in this house--two lone little ones in a sea of massive My Twinns!

Mila and Brie: My Way Kid dolls with makeovers.
I have not worked out pricing for these dolls yet, but Mila will be less expensive than whatever the normal rate needs to be.  This is just because I haven't perfected my repair techniques yet, and both the body and the dress stitching could be better than they are.

Here's a summary of the work that was done on Mila:
-her head was separated from her body
-her body was disassembled and cleaned.  This involved snipping some fabric at the back of the neck
-the seams around her arms and legs were reinforced from the inside with vinyl glue
-the body was reassembled.  Damaged or weakened areas were hand-stitched together
-her head was cleaned and all of the factory paint was stripped away
-the head was coated with Mr. Super Clear matte sealant
-the head was repainted, including eyebrows, blush, lips, and freckles
-new glass eyes were inserted and then glued in place using hot glue
-the back of the head was glued in place using hot glue
-the head was glued to the armature of the body and a cable tie was re-inserted at the neck seam
-new eyelashes were placed (only on the top)
-a new chocolate brown wig from Doll of a Kind was glued at the front and the back of the head
-Mila is wearing a green peasant dress that was hand made by me.  It is paired with purple sandals

Mila has one more little friend who will make a brief appearance here before both of them head over to the Etsy shop.

Thank you so much for sharing my excitement about these new dolls, and for indulging my little detour on the road to Twinn princesses.  Those are coming soon--promise!


  1. For the foot issue, you might want to investigate trying to set re-bent vinyl with a cold water bath to see if it holds that way. I think I've had success with it in my doll days and with an action figure more recently. I don't know if it actually works and if I need to check and see if it stayed, but cold water may have the ability to set heated vinyl.

    1. Good idea! I keep trying the heating technique, hoping it'll work, but I'd love to have another trick up my sleeve--especially if it reduces the time I have to sit holding the doll in place! ;) Thank you.

  2. I love these mini updates and don't mind seeing another doll brand-Im here for your artwork and your lovely blog posts about doll renewal. : ). Great job on her, lovely eyes!-Micah

  3. I also LOVE these dresses you're making! -Micah

  4. your repaints for this series are MAGICAL. i wasn't really digging these dolls at first look, but they're so cute after the makeovers.

  5. I just love their little faces, and Mila's eyes are so pretty!! Looking forward to seeing the other little elf like kid. Great job.

  6. Wonderful work! Proving once again you can work magic on even the oddest of face molds.

  7. Lurkins here! They're so adorable together - they look like cousins. :3

  8. She looks so different after the makeover. I think I prefer the face mould that Brie uses.

    There's a clothing size chart on the doll sewing pattern website Pixiefaire where you might be able to find a similar sized doll that someone could use to see clothing for these dolls? Perhaps if you could post the measurements someone could suggest what might be suitable? If circumferences are close then adapting patterns to add length isn't too tricky.

  9. I'd be really curious what they'd look like if you let out the darts in their waist area. Maybe they'd fill out other brands of clothing better? At the very least it'd be easier to get all the stuffing back in!

  10. I totally missed this post (I blame the not very well working reading list of Blogger), so sorry, I'm a bit late. :) Mila looks lovely, I particularly love her with the hair pulled away from her face. You chose a wonderful eye colour as well, wonderful! Great job, als always!


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